Tag Archives: food

Diary of a food addict (Part two)

23 May

“It looks to me to be obvious that the whole world cannot eat an American diet.”

~ Jerry Brown

If you missed Part one of the diary, you can check it out here, before continuing with our journey of gluttony and excess.

Wednesday

Feeling like we need a reward for our healthy omelette breakfast the day before, we order waffles with bacon and sausage smothered in maple syrup at Everything POP Dining. Nice start girls.

While exploring the Animal Kingdom we eat our obligatory MMICS, followed by a mix of garlic & chilli and teriyaki boneless chicken wings as a mid-morning snack.

Walking past the delicious smells emanating from Flame Tree Barbecue on Discovery Island makes us crave some ribs so we stop there for lunch. A half order of BBQ-rubbed ribs and a fruit plate seems like an excellent combination because the good in the fruit cancels out the bad in the ribs, right?

I then finally get to enjoy a savoury pretzel when we return to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon. Dreams really do come true!

Our father-dearest had kindly given us some money so Sarah and I could go out and enjoy a swanky sister reunion dinner together.

We decide on Fulton’s Crab House, mainly because of the novelty factor of dining on board an authentic turn-of-the-20th-century riverboat replica. It’s docked on the wharf at Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island.

We start off with a yummy entrée of portobello mushroom fries and a not-so-yummy entrée of calamari.

For our mains (confusingly called entrées in the US) we choose the Louis Fulton’s Ultimate Crab Experience for two. This includes Alaska King crab, Alaska snow crab, and Pacific Northwest dungeness crab. It’s massive!

Ultimate Crab Experience

Our waitress kindly offers to help us break down the crab, although this makes us feel like 2-year-olds being hand-fed our dinner. A delicious and ridiculously over-sized dinner.

We really didn’t need the appetisers. The crab platter on its own was way too much food. Poor Sarah isn’t as much of a glutton as I am so about halfway through she really starts to struggle.

As full as we are, at the end of the meal I avow we can’t leave Florida, home of the Key Lime Pie, without trying it. We half-heartedly nibble at our shared dessert, before we admit defeat and head back to the resort.

Thursday

The waffles were so good yesterday we decide to have a similar breakfast, this time enjoying chocolate chip pancakes with bacon and sausage smothered in maple syrup. Shameful.

At Hollywood Studios Sarah tells me 9.30am is too early for our mandatory MMICS, so I reluctantly agree and we wait until later in the morning to enjoy our favourite snack.

We have a late lunch booked at Mama Melrose’s as part of a Fantasmic dining package, so we decide to take a break. Poor Sarah has been completely wiped out by the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, so she really needs to sit somewhere quiet and try to recuperate.

We grab a coffee and a Mickey gingerbread man at the Writer’s Stop, a small café in the Streets of America section of Hollywood Studios.

When it’s time to head to lunch Sarsy still isn’t feeling good, so barely touches her mozzarella and tomato entrée or her whole-wheat vegetable fettuccini main.

I happily scarf down my mixed greens salad and my grilled pork chop, but our waiter notices Sarah isn’t eating and checks on us several times.

Our attentive waiter brings us the bills and tells us he won’t be charging us for Sarah’s meal. We are touched by his kindness so make sure we leave a large tip.

Fortunately, a long nap back at the hotel helps Sarah recover enough to attend Fantasmic in the evening.

Once back at the resort we duck into Everything POP Dining and have a late dinner of vegetable lasagne (Sarah) and an apple and cream cheese bagel (me).

Friday

We travel to Downtown Disney for breakfast, but discover the only restaurant open at 8.30am is the Earl of Sandwich. Not to worry, Sarah enjoys a bacon and egg roll while I munch on a BLT.

For our mid-morning snack I’m delighted to introduce Sarah to churros filled with dulce de leche.

We’re excited to score a table at the ever popular Rainforest Café for an early lunch. My excitement is lessoned however when I learn we have to sit next to elephant statues that trumpet loudly every 10 minutes.

I have a ‘rainforest’ burger and fries while Sarah samples the coconut shrimp, blackened tilapia and scallops that come with the ‘Taste of the Islands’ platter.

We return to Pop Century after lunch, where we check out and catch Disney’s Magical Express bus to the airport.  Sarah and I share a mediocre  Starbucks coffee before saying our farewells.

* * * * *

So there you have it folks, The (Unhealthy) Feast to End All Feasts. I’m considering these two posts ‘how to’ guides.

How not to eat healthily at World Disney World.

You’re welcome. 🙂

In a belated effort at damage control, from now until I leave Honduras, this is what my lunches will look like:

Vegerama

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Diary of a food addict (Part one)

22 May

“Gluttony and idleness are two of life’s great joys, but they are not honourable.”

~ Julie Burchill

Forgive me readers, *burp* for I have sinned and snacked and scarfed and *hiccup* supped  and slurped my way through Walt Disney World.

Despite deciding in advance I would eat well and look for healthy options, my sister’s and my week at Disney could be described as The (Unhealthy) Feast to End All Feasts.

Sunday

I arrive in Orlando and decide “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” is good advice, so order a medium cheeseburger meal from McDonalds.

The medium fries and coke are the same size as a large back home. And apparently one cheeseburger is not enough. The meal comes with two!

I foresee this as an inauspicious start to the trip. Our dinner of hot dogs and fries at the Magic Kingdom turns this little inkling into a strong hunch.

Monday

We elect to skip breakfast at the hotel so we can get an early start at Epcot. The Mission: Space ride then messes with our heads so badly it’s quite a while before either of us feels capable of eating anything. (Awful, awful ride.)

We eat a simple lunch of chicken or pork with veges at the Sunshine Seasons Food Court. Once we’re back out in the sunshine I tell Sarah I’d heard great things about the Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwich, so we hunt one down.

The Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwich (MMICS) is so damn good we promise we’ll eat one every day for the rest of our trip.

I then declare I feel like a pretzel, but by the time we find a pretzel stand they only have sugar and cinnamon pretzels left. Figuring a sweet pretzel is better than no pretzel, down the hatch it goes.

When we return to Epcot after an afternoon nap we need a frozen chocolate-covered banana to help us cool down. That Florida afternoon sun is hot, so it’s definitely a need, not a want. 😛

Shortly after I cannot resist the lure of a bratwurst and beer at the German pavilion. Everyone loves bratwurst and beer!

We’re now pretty full, but as we wander through the park we pass a stall selling something we’ve never heard of before: funnel cakes.

To our slight disappointment, it turns out that funnel cakes are just kinda large squiggly donut-pancake hybrid things. Although that doesn’t stop me from polishing mine off.

Monday was not a good day for healthy eating.

Tuesday

We choose the healthiest breakfast option we can find at the Pop Century food court: omelette and a “biscuit” (savoury scone).

Our tour of the magic kingdom includes lunch at the Columbia Harbour House, where we both choose salads to share. Go team healthy eating!

After lunch we have our compulsory MMICS, later followed by a ‘dole’ pineapple ice-cream float to help us cool down. These are our only poor choices of the day, so it’s definitely an improvement on Monday’s horror hoovering of junk food.

Dinner time sees us heading to Downtown Disney where we snag ourselves a table at Wolfgang Puck Express and enjoy pizza and salad with a small glass of vino. Not a bad way to end the day.

* * * * *

The Feast continues tomorrow. Take a Pepto-Bismol, and stay tuned.

Alfajores—I want some mores

23 Apr

“If cookies be the food of love…munch on.”

~ Dame Judi Dench

Dear blog, I think I’m in love.

They say that you find love in the most unexpected places. In my case I found my new love in Espresso Americano, a Honduran chain of coffee kiosks.

The coffee here in Honduras is great, but the baristas are all pretty ordinary. Black coffee generally fine but no one seems to know how to make a good cappuccino or flat white.

I can’t survive without my morning coffee fix though, so I persist in patronising Espresso Americano all the same.

It was there that I fell in love with my new favourite snack, the ‘chilena de leche’. Also known as ‘alfajores’, they are a shortbread biscuit sandwich filled with dulce de leche.

I have developed a very unhealthy obsession for these sugary, buttery biscuits of awesome.

chilena de leche

What started as a once-off purchase with my morning coffee a few weeks ago has rapidly turned into a daily, sometimes twice-daily habit. This does not help my plan to maintain a healthy weight.

Last week I decided enough was enough and I was going to cut chilenas from my diet cold turkey. However seeing as it was my Birthday Eve, I elected to have one last chilena treat.

My one last chilena then turned into two last chilenas, but I did come to my senses before purchasing a third ‘last’ chilena. Tempting though it was.

It’s been a brief but intense love affair. I know that removing alfajores from my life is the right course of action, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.

As I sipped my poorly made latte this morning without an accompanying chilena, I felt bereft. How can something that feels so good be so wrong, I wondered.

But the decision has been made, and there’s no going back. Relationships are never the same after a break-up.

I’ll miss you chilena de leche. You and your sweet, tantalising fragrance. Your flirtatious dusting of icing sugar. Your melt-in-your mouth texture.

*sigh*

It’s going to be a tough few weeks while I adjust. But it’s for the best.

 

(I’ve been a little bit naughty and tracked down a recipe online so that if I get a craving back home in Oz I’ll be able to make them myself. If you’d like to try your hand at making them too, you can find the recipe at whats4eats.)

Food, glorious food

14 Mar

“I’m in shape. Round is a shape.”

~ Garfield

One of my favourite things about international travel is trying new food. As I’ve previously documented, this is often evidenced by the “excess baggage” I bring back with me.

I came home from Brazil with a love of fejoada, churrascos and an extra ten kilos. I returned from Mexico a huge fan of tacos al pastor, mole poblano and weighing five kilos heavier than when I left.

So it probably comes as no surprise that I’ve been enjoying exploring Honduran cuisine. In my first week here, almost two out of three photos that I took were of food. What can I say, I’ve always been a very stomach-driven person.

Today I thought I’d outline a few of the dishes and foods I’ve been sampling over the past few weeks.

Carne asada for lunch

The main meal of the day here is at lunchtime. Grilled meat, frijoles (beans), plátanos (starchy bananas used for cooking), rice and cheese is pretty much standard fair for a Honduran lunch. And I don’t think I’ve eaten a lunch yet, that’s not been served with a basket of warm tortillas.

Baleada

Baleadas are a traditional Honduran dish. The photo above doesn’t really do them justice, but they’re essentially large tortillas filled with pretty much whatever you feel like. The most typical filling would be frijoles, cheese, egg, and sour cream, but there are endless variations. They’re also generally huge. One is definitely more than enough for me in one sitting.

Yuca con chicharrones

This pic shows my new favourite snack: yuca (a starchy root vegetable) and chicharrones (pork crackling bits) with tomato salsa and chismol (finely diced, tomato, bell pepper and onion in vinaigrette). Oh my. I could eat this every day. Fortunately for my waist line, in my household, this appears to be a sometimes food.

Breakfast

Breakfasts here are often quite similar to what we eat in Australia. Some combination of cereal, fruit, toast, coffee and juice are generally on offer at home in the mornings. On the few “cold” mornings we’ve had the housekeeper has even made porridge.

The photo above shows a more traditional ‘hearty’ style of breakfast. It includes plátanos, frijoles, scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese. From what I’ve seen so far, in my house at least, this is something that we’d eat on weekends, and not during the week.

Rosquillas

Rosquillas are made from cornmeal and are a rather bland, dry, crunchy biscuit that I imagine taste very similar to baby teething rusks. These are a standard accompaniment to any coffee. They’re typically dunked in the coffee to absorb the flavour and to soften before eating. They can also be enjoyed as snacks on their own.

Fried tacos

Fried tacos, literally tacos that are filled, rolled up and then dropped in a deep fryer, are the one and only food so far that I’ve really not liked. These ones had a chicken filling and were served with a sprinkle of cheese and several different sauces. I think I might have enjoyed them if they were left fresh, but fried I just found them a bit too greasy to enjoy.

Twenty-one days into my Honduran culinary adventure and I’m happy to report that, so far, I don’t seem to have put on any weight. I’ve been trying to balance trying new foods with eating healthily.

Portion control is something that I’m struggling with a little bit, simply because when my host mum or the house keeper makes or buys something especially for me to try, I don’t want to offend by only eating half.

I’ve started chatting generally about how I don’t normally eat a lot so hopefully this will help lay the foundations for me to reassure them that the food is fabulous, but I’d only like to eat a plate half the size of what I’ve generally been served.

Mexico en la piel

19 Feb

“…[Puebla] is much more than a city to meet, it is, above all, a place to live and feel a way of life, the lifestyle of the citizen of Puebla, and become captivated by it.”
~ Puebla Capital the essential (tourist brochure)

It’s been a jam packed couple of days in Mexico so far. I arrived in Mexico City at 5:00am on Friday morning. After breezing past all those waiting for their luggage at the carousel (I am loving travelling only with one carry-on bag) I arrived at the bus station just in time to get the 6:15am bus to Puebla.

Puebla is two and a bit hours south of Mexico City and is where I lived for 6 months on a university exchange in 2005. After only 4 hours sleep I could barely keep my eyes open on the bus, but as soon as I started recognising streets I’d travelled on before my excitement overtook my tiredness.

I can’t describe how good it is to be back in Puebla after all this time. Last year the historic centre of town celebrated it’s 25th anniversary of receiving a World Heritage listing so there’s been lots of renovations done to what already was a stunningly beautiful city centre.

I spent a good two hours people watching in the Zocolo today. You can see Puebla’s famous Catedral peeking behind the trees in this photo:

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When I lived here the Catedral (which took more than 300 years to build) wasn’t lit up at night like it is now. It’s just gorgeous:

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And here’s one side of the restaurants, cafes and shops etc. that border the Zocolo:

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But the best best part of being back isn’t seeing the familiar sights again, it’s seeing the familiar faces again. I’ve been having an absolute ball catching up with old friends. So far I’ve been to a birthday party, to a baby shower, to local markets, to a football game, to the movies, to breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and even to a press conference. It’s been awesome.

And the food! I’m loving the fact that I’ve been able to revisit some of my favourite dishes. I arrived with a list of things I wanted to eat again and I’ve been working through it dish by dish.

So far I’ve had tacos al pastor (my all-time favourite), quesadillas, mole poblano, churros, horchata, and nieve de maracuya con chile. Mmm mmmmm.

Probably not helping me maintain my weight loss, but I figure I’m only here for a week, so surely I can’t do too much damage in such a short space of time. *fingers crossed*

I have bought myself some fruit and vegetables to snack on or to eat for meals instead of eating out all the time. A lot of the dishes here are tortilla and meat-based so I thought supplementing some meals with veges would be a good idea.

Here’s some snaps of my first Mexican breakfast: quesadillas con carne enchilada and a dish (I can’t remember the name) with mole poblano–the traditional sauce from Puebla made with chocolate and lots of other spices. My plate looks a bit of a mess, but trust me, it’s delicious.

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